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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Former teacher seeks copy of computer's hard drive

From the Eagle Tribune;

Former teacher seeks copy of computer's hard drive Former teacher faces charges of possession of child pornography
By Jarret Bencks
jbencks@eagletribune.com

BRENTWOOD — A former Timberlane teacher wants copies of pornographic images federal investigators said they found on his personal computer.

Scott Buatti of Newton is charged with possessing computer images of minors engaged in sexual acts. A lawyer for Buatti, a former middle-school gym teacher and coach, has asked the state for copies of images taken from his computer in January and February 2008.

Attorney Mark Sisti argued that the state failed to give him an opportunity to review and analyze the evidence used to bring charges against Buatti.

"The state has refused to provide him with either a copy of the hard drive or a copy of the state's image of the hard drive, thus depriving Mr. Buatti of his due process right to see the evidence against him," Sisti wrote in a motion filed yesterday.

Sisti wants access to the images so a private investigator can review the evidence, according to court documents.

County prosecutors objected to the request. The evidence is available for review, but only at the Portsmouth police station, according to court papers filed by prosecutor Jerome Blanchard.

In his objection, Blanchard argued it may be more convenient for private investigators to have their own copies of the images, but the hard drive is accessible.

Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Tina Nadeau, who is presiding over the case, has not ruled on the request.

Buatti was first approached by federal agents on Feb. 25, 2008, as part of a two-year probe by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. He was among 5,000 alleged domestic subscribers to child pornography sites that ICE agents tracked down throughout the country.

In February 2008, Buatti, then 43, admitted to ICE investigators that he had saved pornographic images of children to his home computer's hard drive, according to a report by federal investigators.

In March 2008, Timberlane school district officials were notified that Buatti was being investigated for allegedly possessing child pornography. He was placed on administrative leave in April 2009, when he was indicted by a county grand jury.

Buatti faces 10 counts of attempted possession of child pornography and 10 counts of possession of child pornography. He is slated to go on trial in May.

9 comments:

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Anonymous said...

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